Random 5 for May 5 – Death, food, friends, unexpected consequences, blogging themes

Crabapple tree in bloom

A sad goodbye – This week we lost a friend. It wasn’t unexpected yet is anyone ever ready? It’s a sober reminder that we all have an expiration date. We need to have our affairs in order and fun on the agenda. So little time!

What do you blame? – This week I had a bad bellyache. Really bad. Lasted two days. It may have been a virus or something I ate disagreed with me. That day I had a tried a “protein bowl” with weird stuff like wheat berries and strange-looking beans. There was some zucchini (rubbery) and a mushroom with a few other pieces of vegetables. The only flavoring was parmesan cheese which I like in a pinch or two but is overwhelming in quantity. The other thing I consumed was a Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino, all marshmallow-y and chocolate-y. I’m convinced it was either a virus or the protein bowl. I like eating healthy. A dab of garlic or lemon or many other herbs would have helped that dish considerably. I tried to “doctor” with balsamic vinegar but that wasn’t enough to mask out the strong parmesan taste. My vote is that the healthy thing killed me. Couldn’t have been the Frappuccino!

Friends revisited – I had a huge response in comments both on and off the blog to my friends post this past week. The topic is complex.  It made me reflect on myself. At the end of that reflection, I am what I am. Low expectations and no drama please. It’s OK if you are different but perhaps there are other people better suited to meet your needs.

And another point – I exercised with someone I connected with back at my old gym (or so I thought). When it closed, I suggested we have lunch sometime. She asked if she could invite someone else. That wasn’t my intent but I said OK. (What do you say? No bitch I want to connect with you?) Somehow it has turned into a group of twelve or so and my friend (?) rarely comes. I haven’t seen her in more than six months although her infrequent emails always say “lets stay in touch.” Maybe I didn’t fit her needs for friendship. Double edged sword.

For bloggers – I’ve been looking at different themes to update my blog. (For non-bloggers that’s the format with side bars and headers and stuff.) I always come back to what I have (Theme 2011). I like other themes but it’s missing something I need. I want to be able to post a header picture. Not all of them do that. Maybe I’ll stay with what I have a little longer. I can change out the colors to update it.

So how was your week?


68 thoughts on “Random 5 for May 5 – Death, food, friends, unexpected consequences, blogging themes

  1. I’m very sorry to hear about your friend’s passing, Kate. The older we get I know, and expect, that we’ll be experiencing greater frequency of these events. My aunt, in her 80’s, always says, “You know, we aren’t perennials.” I smile at that. And we know it, but it doesn’t make it easy to accept.

    Friends! I am just with you entirely on this topic. We have some very similar experiences. Lately I’ve been thinking that maybe I would like to experience a year or two where I don’t connect to anyone outside of family! LOL! It’s an appealing thought. That tells you where my mind has been! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • “We’re not perennials.” That made me laugh although in a way we are. We come back every year until one year we don’t. A lot of my perennials are like that! Maybe it’s an age thing but I’m thinking friendships made at my age are looser. I can’t imagine having a BFF like I did in high school. Maybe my needs aren’t as great.


  2. I’m sorry you lost a friend. It’s always sad. It’s not fun when an enemy dies, either! Well, I haven’t experienced that, but it seems reasonable.

    I changed my theme once or twice in the beginning and hope I won’t have to do it again. Why suffer pain when you don’t have to? When you do decide to change, I hope it goes easily.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With so many just “acquaintances” or “we’re stuck n this together work amigos”, it’s hard to lose and actual friend. Happy you two had fun, adventures, and memories together rather than never having the opportunity to know each other at all. Sounds like that one was a gift.
    The ones who are “oh we have to get together” people, then you make plans then it’s weird because they don’t show up or they bring others – so odd and difficult to understand. Have a cousin who insisted on bringing another friend to lunch one time…and then cousin called and said she was running late …we sat there a while before her friend said, “We might as well order and eat. She’s not coming. She alway makes plans, loses focus, overbooks, and is MIA. As it turned out we had great fun. But it was a little annoying when cousin called and said she was busy, but would I mind running around the corner or calling “friend” and telling her something. Geesh…was she looking to introduce me to someone interesting – or someone who could do favors for her when she was overbooked? So odd.
    (It had to be the power bowl – those look weird – throws your stomach into shock…and they try to tell you that’s a good thing – it’s making you healthier once you get past it. Doesn’t seem logical) .

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I completely get what you mean when trying to connect with old friends. My two gf’s have very busy schedules, where mine is more open. I rarely count on their “we need to get together more often” comments. It is what it is.

    I’ve changed blog themes several times in six years. It takes me an entire day to go through themes to pick one, because I love a header photo, too. I click preview to see what it will look like with my sidebars and my favorite headers. It takes a lot of playing around to find just the right one.

    My warmest wishes on the loss of your friend. Sending comforting thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. BFF always blames the food that he liked least ~ usually the lone broccoli spear. 😀

    Sounds like it’s time for you to exit stage left from those group lunches. UGH! Too many people spoil the conversation flow.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. So sorry for the loss of your friend! Weird – I had a pretty bad stomach bug Friday night and a little bit of Saturday and have been trying to figure it out as well. I did not have a protein bowl, but also did not have a Frappuccino, so it definitely wasn’t that 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m sorry about your friend. You’re right: Life is so short.

    Nope. A S’mores Frappuccino couldn’t possibly cause stomach problems.

    Theme 2011 works well with your cat photos in the header. Always a good way to start.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’ve had a horrible year for losses and medical catastrophes for loved ones and yourself – my goodness! That flowering crabapple is beautiful – you are not a crabapple, but others can sure make you that way. It sure made no sense to me either. I have Theme 2010 and I like it and know it is no longer available to use for a new blog, just for existing blogs. I dread when they will want to change it and hope there is something easy and comparable at that time as I like the layout for my needs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never really thought of it but it has been a horrible year so far. Maybe the bad part is done! Some themes don’t support mobile devices and those were the ones I thought they were discontinuing. They don’t make it easy. I was sure they had tons of themes but I found it hard to search unless you knew what you were looking for.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, it seems like that to me – not a nice year at all. Hopefully the worst is over. I did read that one of the good things about Gutenberg is that is displays well on mobile devices. I never think of that aspect as I don’t have a smart phone or a tablet. A few years ago, they changed the font size on my theme – I sent an e-mail to WP and asked if they had adjusted the font and they said “no” but it was paler, so I went in and tweaked it by enlarging the font and making it darker, so I wasn’t too radical either. Some of the themes were all over the map – I like it more compact and orderly (and easy is a plus too).

        Liked by 1 person

          • I always check out a blogger when they follow me and had difficulties honing in on their bio and last few blog posts. Baby steps is good. That’s how I’m learning Gutenberg, just one new thing a day for now.

            Liked by 1 person

              • I mostly did it because we were SUPPOSED to be getting our new accounting software and Windows 10 laptop and computers. Our computer guy installed the new server a month ago, and I’ve yet to see the laptop … the new desktops will be Phase II, but have been ordered. I told him to send it to me from the factory and I’d configure it, but he wanted to do it. Sigh. I didn’t want too many things going on at one time. Otherwise I’d have not ventured there either. We have a very ugly day out there today – torrential rain. Just did a post for tomorrow – made some good use of the crummy weather.

                Liked by 1 person

  9. I like things to remain simple or at least comfortably the same. Changing my blog would only give me the jitters or a headache trying to adjust. Signs of age for sure. The secret of a long life may be to stop, think, and remain in the moment.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That post was an especially timely one for me personally, but obviously you struck a chord with others too. I should go back and read more of the comments. It’s always nice to get something out there that gets people thinking.

    My last attempts at changing the theme of my blog seemed endless. I must have picked four over a two week period until I finally found the right one. There’s definitely no “Goldilocks” version where you find everything just right. It’s a give-and-take process. Have a strong cup of coffee with you as you work it out. – Marty

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I think that if I invited someone out to lunch for the purpose of making a connection and they asked if they could bring someone, I would say “no.” It seems a bit rude of them to ask anyway, but it’s also OK to push back. I am much more comfortable one-on-one and would feel like a third wheel if the other two had a history that I didn’t share.

    Your reply to Joanne reminded me of my working days. Often, for someone’s birthday, a whole group went out to lunch. I hated it! I would always have a convenient excuse not to attend… even for my own birthdays!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So sorry about your recent loss Kate. It’s never easy, even when it’s expected.

    Food wise, I’d go with the protein bowl and maybe the parmesan was on the turn. Too much protein all in one hit isn’t a good idea IMO (will let you know how SW sees it).

    Theme: I think I started with Twenty Ten and inserted my own headers. It’s pretty basic which suits me and I haven’t changed anything else.

    On the ‘casual friend’ front, several of the darts ladies on various teams go to SW, so I’m bound to meet up with some of them. Two ladies from my team go on a Wednesday, but I preferred the day before for weighing in rather than the day after so that if I fancied the supper I could have some!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I’m sorry to hear about your friend, Kate. Not long ago, my office lost two people to cancer. Both were so young. Unfortunately, I know nothing about WP themes and headers to offer any suggestions. Actually, since I read the blogs I follow through the WP reader, I never see anyone’s headers, so I don’t even know what is on yours now. That “healthy” thing you described made me sick just reading about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought for sure that wheat berries would be healthy. Maybe just not for me. I read blogs through the reader too but I click onto their blog (using the arrow icon). Clicking on “visit” takes me to more of a document style and I’m always afraid I’ll miss something.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I agree: “My vote is that the healthy thing killed me.” I have had that happen often. Eat the junk, I’m fine. Eat healthy, I feel icky. It’s a fact.

    Earlier this year I tried to find a new template for my blog and, like you, decided to keep what I have. It is Twenty Fifteen and has done me well. I remember reading some blogging advice on a blogging guru website that said: if you feel the need to change your template, what you may need to change is what you’re writing about– not how it looks. A thought…

    Liked by 2 people

      • The lack of header is exactly why I was looking to change it. But I couldn’t find anything that let me keep my sidebar on the left [which I prefer being old school] & that didn’t have oversized titles on each post. Agree about the recalls. There’s a lesson there. 😐

        Liked by 2 people

  15. Sorry about the belly ache. Whenever I’ve eating something that disagrees with me, I nosh on some ginger pieces-calms things down quickly and easily. Plus it tastes good IMHO.

    Sorry for the loss of your friend. You’re totally right, you can never be ‘ready’ even knowing what’s on the horizon. I hope the warm memories you shared provide enough comfort as you work through the loss.

    In my mind, a person who invites enough people to form a professional sports team doesn’t seem like much of a friend, more of a collector. There are times when that’s ok, but certainly not at the first get-together after a long absence. Makes you wonder what makes people ‘tick’ sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m truly sorry for your loss. No matter how many times we experience losing someone, we never seem to get better at it. I, too, want to be able to connect more deeply on a one-on-one visit, so I understand the difficulty of someone saying, “Can I bring someone else?” One of these days I hope to be able to say, “no” when someone else’s agenda is that totally different than mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve become better about my invitations, making sure they understand my intent. I have learned to add “just the two of us” at the end if that’s what I’m aiming for. I was more disappointed that she didn’t share my idea of a pal lunch. The first person she added is a nice person. Oddly enough, she brought someone else too. Totally unannounced.


  17. It’s like your no-show friend opted to find you surrogate friends. And a lot of them!

    I have one close friend that asked to bring another friend to our weekly meetup. And yeah, what can you say besides yes, especially when your close friend tells you how great this other friend is and how much she needs to get out. I mean, I was angry, resentful, and hurt, but of course I said sure. My friend didn’t have much free time and I knew she was trying to sandwich in both of us.

    Other friend turned out to be more than okay, though. I like her a lot. Sometimes she can make it, sometimes not. And my close friend sometimes doesn’t invite her all the time, saying, “I just wanted the two of us to chat.”

    Could’ve easily gone differently, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Turned out good for you! I’m not sure what she was hoping to accomplish. The two of us are the youngest of the exercise group by a lot of years. They tend to be more involved in health issues and most lunches are updates on ailments and surgery. I enjoy seeing the ladies again but if I have something better to do, I will do that. There just isn’t as much common ground.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Kate, so sorry about your friend. We have lost quite a few family members (older) in the last 6 months. Friends, family members… it is always a shock even if expected and it does make me reflect on how old I am and how important it is to have “stuff” in order. And to have fun, enjoy what I do every day.

    If I would have eaten that protein bowl you describe I would have had a bellyache too! I call it “grippers” when I eat something that shocks my gut and intestines!

    At the end of your reflection on friendships with girlfriends, I agree with you and a couple of other people that commented to keep expectations low. I hadn’t thought of keeping my expectations low but unconsciously I think I have done that. I feel like a different person since moving. I have done some things right, done plenty of things wrong. Now, I am trying to do things HAPPY.

    I had the 2011 theme for quite awhile and then went to Edda which never grabbed me when I clicked to bring up my blog. Now I have Nishita (light) and it feels right. Um, I just need to post… Ha.

    Hope your tummy is feeling good enough for a Margarita today… Ole’

    Liked by 2 people

    • Totally forgot it’s Cinco de Mayo! Margarita for sure. WP makes cruising theme complicated. If I check something out, decide it’s not for me and go back, I have to start over the search. I don’t have much patience for the techy part.


  19. Any week that includes the loss of a friend is a difficult one. My condolences.

    … and it sounds like the gym acquaintance wasn’t really a friend after all. Personally, I dislike these group gatherings and avoid them whenever possible. It’s nearly impossible to really connect with anyone so what’s the point?

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG! We are alike (and somewhat in the minority). I was really weird when I worked. I rarely ate lunch with someone and if there were more than 3 or 4 (absolute max) people involved, I wouldn’t go. I didn’t like spending that much time and unless you have the right people (which never seemed to happen) the conversation is pretty boring.


      • If I went out for lunch it was usually one-on-one. I prefer small ‘intimidate’ conversations.
        The problem with group dynamics is that there are usually one or two people who dominate the conversation. The last group lunch I attended I said never again. The woman who sat across from me made the entire affair about her. Regardless of whatever topic came up, she hijacked the conversation. I realized in hindsight that she had always been this way but I had not experienced her in a group environment before. SNORE!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • That happened to me in a work situation about 10 years ago. There were three of us and one invited another one. I liked the other person but she’s a non-stop talker. Even though I didn’t say 15 words throughout the lunch, I was exhausted when I got back. Like you say, never again!

          Liked by 1 person

  20. Very sorry about the loss of your friend Kate. You are right, I don’t think you ever are quite ready. And it’s one thing about growing older that I don’t like. I have seen my parents lose their friends and their siblings and yes, death is hard, no matter the age!

    Now the part about your friend asking to invite more people and then not showing up. Just not sure what she is saying there! Have her other friends that were invited said anything about her? Maybe she doesn’t like going out anytime, it might not have to do with you.

    I like the header too and been thinking of changes but like you just not sure. I am sure whatever you pick though will be fine! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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